Summary: 22 July 2008, Brussels – Council of the European Union, 2886th EXTERNAL RELATIONS Council meeting, Conclusions on Zimbabwe
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
1. The Council regrets that the Zimbabwean people were unable to vote freely in the election on 27 June, the result of which the EU regards as illegitimate. The Council notes that the election observation missions of the Pan-African Parliament, the African Union and the SADC concluded that the elections had not complied with AU standards and had not reflected the will of the Zimbabwean people.
2. Recalling the warning given by the European Council on 19 June, the Council has decided to penalise those responsible for the campaign of violence which has marked these elections, by amending Common Position 2004/161/CFSP to extend restrictive measures (a visa ban and the freezing of funds) to individuals who do not yet appear on the list annexed to that Common Position, and by adding bodies linked to them. The Council has also decided to reinforce the travel bans against the individuals appearing on the sanctions list. In the coming weeks, the relevant Council bodies will examine the measures which might be taken against others responsible for violence, and other bodies linked to them.
3. The Council also encourages the African Union's efforts and calls for a rapid and tangible implementation of its resolution of 1 July. It repeats that in no way is it able to accept as a fait accompli the status quo currently prevailing in Zimbabwe. The Council also notes SADC's efforts, and stresses the importance of pursuing active engagement by the AU to support SADC's efforts. It notes the signing in Harare on 21 July of a memorandum of understanding between the Zimbabwean parties under the aegis of SADC and with the contribution of the AU and the United Nations. The EU will continue to raise this situation in its high-level contacts with the SADC countries and other African countries, in particular at the next summit with South Africa on 25 July 2008.
4. The Council endorses the principles stated by the EU on 4 July 2008. It is ready to continue giving its support to any credible mediation effort which might lead to the establishment of a transitional government and to the holding as soon as possible of free, pluralist and transparent elections. The Council wants the will of the Zimbabwean people, which was expressed on 29 March, to be respected. At the same time, the Council calls for the violence and human rights violations to be stopped at once, and calls for the restrictions on the distribution of humanitarian aid to be lifted.
5. The Council regrets that the United Nations Security Council was not able to agree on a package of restrictive measures by virtue of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, including an embargo on providing arms to Zimbabwe. The Council notes that the draft resolution submitted for a vote on 11 July received broad support. The Council counts on the continuing engagement of the United Nations and supports the appointment of a United Nations envoy.
6. In the absence of any positive development in the next few weeks towards a transitional government based on the results of the elections of 29 March 2008, the Council is prepared to take the additional measures it considers appropriate. It asks its relevant bodies to continue to examine the possible options. It will return to this question when it meets in September.